ALLEN BRAMHALL Reviews
I-Formation Book 2 by Anne Gorrick
(Shearsman Books, Exeter, U.K, 2012)
I-Formation by Anne Gorrick, Books 1 and 2
Or I manage to accept the new and wonder
I reviewed Book 1 of I-Formation on Galatea Resurrects #15. I mention this because I have felt the mist of having got it wrong. As I look at the review for the first time since I dashed it off to ET (sic), it hits points that I consider valid. No wrong answers anyway, just trying to give my impressions in real time. I will speak more, then, about Book 2. Book 2 was published two years after book 1, in 2012.
Book 2 carries on from Book 1 in terms of format and style. Dense packets of words spread varyingly across the page. This is non-linear narrative. As such, I find myself invited to skip about rather than read straight thru. One notes an allusive quality in the writing, personal references, that I know I am missing on that level. This doesn’t impede the chime and clang of word against word, but there’s a level here from which I am kept.
Many poems are dedicated to specific people. Most of these people are unknown to me but I know some few, and others I can infer are relations of Anne’s. Furthermore, an evocation of where Anne lives comes thru. Anne Gorrick’s neighbourhood: physical, intellectual, emotional.
I do not (yet) understand the structure of these works, the combined I-Formations. I think Robert Duncan’s wind-ranging field plays here, tho the walls of Gorrick’s sections seem a little less permeable than Duncan’s. Nonetheless, there is a daily and timely necessity to the writing.
As I read Gorrick’s work, I have a similar experience as reading some of the modernist classics (oh shit, I wrote modernist), id est: The Cantos, Maximus Poems, Helen in Egypt. It basically goes: What the hell? What the hell? Wow! Meaning is a pleasant little addition to the reading experience, and moments when the strange syntax, orthographic anomalies, and reserved allusions actually tender themselves towards my reception, these are veritable blossoms. Or I manage to accept the new and wonder.
Oppose this description
Influence is blue in the sky
Half visible thought
is blue against the grey decrease
My concurrence the text that you are nothing
I the bed am completely in China or skin
I see a local envelopment here, of a place and time. It feels like Gorrick’s getting her bearings, I mean compass bearings and all.
And then there are phrases… Robert Grenier elucidated a path for me that extended the poem as poem. He could write a poem with three words, almost nothing:
sure arm today
Not that I could write such like, but it was one more nail into the head propounding possibility. It was a revelation for me at the time. And his book Sentences offered the possibilities of not just these little gems, but of randomness, published as they were on unbound cards.
Gorrick isolates phrases, potent word collectives. One could randomly collect phrases.
“Eyelashes crossed thyme on the family look”
“Her canine since ice”
“Runes mar the tree like stars”
“She recants both:
Nacre and nectar”
So we have a fascinating if challenging project ongoing. Density and richness evident on every page.
Allen Bramhall maintains two blogs: his dither blog (tribute-airy-blogspot.com) and his poetry blog (simpletheories.blogspot.com). Both are ratified by angels. Likewise his two volume poem, Days Poem(http://meritagepress.blogspot.com/2012/09/days-poem-by-allen-bramhall.html). Further details available upon request.